As an introduction to this section, I want to give an overview and history of the main strands I am writing about
There are 4 main ages or elements or facets to the spiritual:-
- The great World Religions (and some lesser ones too). I don’t have very much to say about these – I am more interested in personal experience, however, I have found a marvellous graphic which shows how and when they developed
- Modern “Theosophy” began with the foundation of the Theosophical Society in 1875, and continued with the writing of Madame Blavatsky’s “Secret Doctrine” a few years later. I have an section on the theosophical movement and it’s main teachings, which cform part of an ageless wisdom.
- New Age. (the modern spirituality movements). I would date the start of this from the foundation of the Findhorn Community in November 1962, but others would disagree. However, no-one can disagree that there has been a major shift from the previous theosophical approaches, which were characterised by theory and speculation, to a new approach which is much more experiential and involves group work, with techniques for developing the mind, body and feelings, i.e.. personal growth of all types.
- Post-Modernism. Many people would not include this in this way, but I think it is valid. Post-modernism is largely an academic movement, it’s largely mentally oriented, and its main figures were French. It critiques the world around, interrogates power, and gives an aesthetic framework. It is largely dealt with in the “humanities” section of this site, except for a few short articles here.
Many people also refer to “the Age of Aquarius” as an astrological epoch, caused by the precession of the equinox from Pisces to Aquarius - the horizon on the first day of spring moves slowly backwards through the zodiac by 30’ (a sign) every 2,000 years. It is unclear exactly when the Age of Aquarius might start astrologically, and there may be an overlap of a century before we are fully Aquarian.
My personal view is that if we can extract the best from each of theosophy, the new age, and post-modernism, then there is something that “stands up” better. Each of these “schools” on their own has virtues – the wisdom of theosophy, the experiences of the new age and the rigour of post-modernism, but each is insufficient on it’s own, and needs to be blended with the others.
Wikipedia Article on the New Age looks OK